Retired Hawaii physician Charman J. Akina has donated 135 acres of land in South Kona to The Nature Conservancy that will provide habitat for rare native wildlife and plants.
The parcel is located just below the Conservancy’s 8,081-acre Kona Hema Preserve and the state’s South Kona Forest Reserve.
“The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii is grateful to work with wonderful supporters like Dr. Akina, who understand the vast majority of Hawaii’s native species are found nowhere else in the world,” said TNC Hawaii Executive Director Ulalia Woodside. “This gift will provide a home and refuge for native plants and animals for future generations.”
The land is the second of two properties Akina has given to TNC. He donated a 37-acre neighboring parcel in 2014. He first became interested in the two South Kona parcels in the early 1970s when the land was being sub-divided for sale.
“I went down there and found these properties that had beautiful trees on them along with young forest,” he said. “When I found out they would be sold for development, I stepped in and bought them. I wanted to save them from the bulldozer.”
After TNC acquired 4,000 acres next door at Honomalino in 1999 — the first of three adjoining parcels that make up its Kona Hema Preserve — Akina decided that one day he would donate the land to TNC.